4 Books to Fuel Your Personal Growth

UPDATED: May 22, 2024
PUBLISHED: July 2, 2021
4 Books to Fuel Your Personal Growth

Love People, Use Things:
Because the Opposite Never Works

By Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

The authors’ bread and butter is minimalism, and intentionality is at its core. When weighing a new purchase, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus write, consider: Will this bring me joy? Is this the best use of my money? But above all else, Love People, Use Things is about relationships. Because what’s going to bring you more joy: a new pair of loafers or family? In many cases, our relationships can be improved, but sometimes, Millburn and Nicodemus write, things need to be cut off.

“We all need love. But love isn’t all we need,” the duo write. “We need to be seen, we need to be heard, we need connection. We need hope and grace and kindness. But these characteristics are suppressed without love.” 

The Power of Giving Away Power:
How the Best Leaders Learn to Let Go

By Matthew Barzun

Imagine running for president all by yourself—organizing the trips, writing the speeches, driving to different cities. Impossible, right? So why do so many of us try to run companies this way?

Often we’re too afraid to ask for help, either out of pride or fear, writes Matthew Barzun in The Power of Giving Away Power.

“We think we must hoard power before someone else takes it and that we must lord it over others,” Barzun writes. “We’ve not only come to value the consolidation and preservation of power as the best kind of leadership; we’ve come to believe it’s the only kind—that it is leadership.”

In his book, Barzun takes on how to get over this mindset that we have to do it all, ways to make that happen, and how growth comes from it. His examples and the tips are helpful whether you’re at the top of your company or closer to the bottom. 

The Power of Awareness:
And Other Secrets from the World’s Foremost Spies, Detectives, and Special Operators on How to Stay Safe and Save Your Life

By Dan Schilling

A member of two American special ops squadrons during his military career, Dan Schilling knows about risks and danger. He’s participated in combat missions dealing with biological and nuclear weapons.

What’s his key to staying safe in dangerous situations? Awareness, he writes in his new book. Schilling shares six rules and six tools readers can use to increase their awareness. These won’t just make readers safe if they somehow find themselves in a war zone. The tips can help readers be more aware and present in all settings—like a high-stakes meeting, a first date, or walking down a dark street at night. By increasing awareness, Schilling writes, you can stay on guard and avoid blind spots.

“Humans are creatures of habit, which goes some way toward explaining why we can be so unreliable when it comes to recalling details in a crisis or under stress,” he writes. “It’s the blind spot you can’t see because you’re already blinded by familiarity.”

Be Exceptional:
Master the Five Traits That Set Extraordinary People Apart

By Joe Navarro with Toni Sciarra Poynter

In his years in the FBI, Joe Navarro always sought to learn what made people truly exceptional.

“These people make you feel special,” Navarro writes in Be Exceptional. “They draw you in instantly with their kindness and caring. They energize with their wisdom and empathy. They leave you feeling better than when you arrived.”

In his new book, Navarro breaks down why exceptional people are great at five things—self-mastery, observation, communication, action and psychological comfort.

For each trait, Narvarro uses real-life examples on how to master them, offering tasks and actionable items to build on them from. These tips can provide value to anyone across any profession. 

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by @robhga116/Twenty20

Jesus Jimenez is a staff writer for Dallas Morning News. He eats, breathes and sleeps Texas Rangers baseball. He also enjoys running, traveling and buying cool socks.